Faith in diversity

15th August 2008 at 01:00

The Economic and Social Research Council study Identities in Transition, which concludes that "the ethnic composition of primary schools has a direct impact on children's attitudes towards those in other ethnic groups and on their ability to get on with their peers", makes negative and erroneous assertions about faith schools, certainly as far as Catholic schools are concerned ("Diversity builds esteem," TES, August 1).

Ofsted inspection data from 2003-2005 covering more than 6,000 maintained schools, of which around 600 were Catholic schools, shows that Catholic schools are in fact more ethnically diverse than other schools. The Ofsted data shows that Catholic secondary schools, for example, have school populations with an average of 20 per cent black and minority ethnic pupils, compared with 15.6 per cent in other maintained schools.

This is unsurprising as Catholicism is a global religion.

In fact, these independent Ofsted statistics also showed that pupils' attitudes, behaviour, relationships and self-confidence are often excellent or very good in Catholic schools, exactly what the ESRC is seeking to promote.

Oona Stannard, Chief executive and director, Catholic Education Service for England and Wales.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today